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8 May 2016, 07:16 | Updated: 8 May 2016, 07:17
A devoted Ipswich fan has thanked those who came to his aid after he collapsed and went into cardiac arrest at Ipswich’s penultimate home game.
Ralph Crich, 48, from Capel St Mary was watching his beloved Ipswich Town play at Portman Road against Fulham on Tuesday 19th April when his heart started to race, he said: “My heart was beating fast but I put that down to pre-match nerves. By the start of the second half I didn’t feel great so my friends took me to the back of the stands and called the stewards.”
Unfortunately, Ralph collapsed and went into cardiac arrest but luckily, a swift response from the East of England Ambulance Service NHS Trust (EEAST) and Emergency Doctors Medical Service (EDMS) staff, who were working at the match, ensured he had the best chance of survival.
Jason Gillingham, an EEAST senior locality manager said: “Unfortunately, as we (EEAST) arrived, Ralph had a full cardiac arrest but was quickly resuscitated with the help of Dr Aaron Pennell (EDMS) and their staff.”
Dr Pennel said: “He had been resuscitated upon my arrival and I ensured his condition was stable before he was taken to Ipswich Hospital. I checked up on him a couple of days later at hospital and he was doing really well.”
In a matter of days Ralph was discharged from hospital after being fitted with a pacemaker and defibrillator and was able to cheer on the Blues in their final home game on Saturday (30th April).
Dale Banyard-Sawyer, an EEAST emergency care assistant who helped revive Ralph said: “To see him on his feet so quickly is amazing, I’ve never seen a recovery as quick as his. It was an excellent team effort from everyone involved.”
Ralph was given the honour of presenting the player of the month award before the game and was also given a new Ipswich shirt after his was cut off following his scare.
Ralph said: “It was one of the best days of my life, everything from the applause from my friends and fans before the game to then presenting player of the month and the replacement shirt was incredible, it was a once in a lifetime experience - my thanks to everyone at the club for making my day so memorable.”
He added: “I will forever be indebted to everyone and their quick actions which saved my life, I cannot thank them enough for that.”